One of the most revered names in the Canadian culinary world returns to the resort this weekend for the first in a series of gourmet lunches at the Roundhouse Lodge.
Chef David Hawksworth, founder of the eponymous Downtown Vancouver restaurant consistently voted as the city's best, will be bringing his unique spin on Canadian contemporary cuisine to the mountains for a pop-up lunch at Steeps on Saturday, Jan. 9.
"I'm excited to share a taste of my cuisine with the resort's international clientele and with the many regulars who dine at Hawksworth and also enjoy the slopes during their downtime," he wrote in an email. "The dining room at Steeps is always full during these pop-ups and the energy is electric."
This is the second year Whistler Blackcomb has worked with the acclaimed fine dining restaurant to host these events. It's a union that first came about over two years ago when Hawksworth, an avid skier and regular resort visitor, met with WB's director of food and beverage Paul Street. They discussed how to elevate the resort's on-mountain food offerings and eventually inked a partnership that has proven to be a boon for both sides — WB's recent hiring of former Hawksworth sous chef Steve Ramey came about through their conversations.
"No doubt there will be guests at Steeps that haven't heard of Hawksworth Restaurant and it's a wonderful opportunity to introduce them," Hawksworth said. "In the same token I know that many of our regular clientele will make a special trip to be sure they join us for this event — it's a win-win situation."
Hawksworth isn't the only industry heavyweight to lend his name to a WB event, either. The mountain has hosted a number of Winemaker Après dinners featuring some of B.C.'s top wineries, and acclaimed restaurateur, entrepreneur and TV personality Vikram Vij hosted a number of tastings last year. His branded line of curries is also available at the Roundhouse. (The ex-Dragons' Den star returns to the mountain on Jan. 23 for another tasting, and will be a guest chef at the Nk'Mip Winemaker's Dinner on Mar. 31.)
It's all part of the ongoing evolution of Whistler Blackcomb's mountain dining options, Street said.
"Obviously we've been working hard over the past number of years to evolve our food and beverage experiences to a higher level," he said. "There's more than one way to do that; one is through capital expansion and improvements like you've seen at the Rendezvous, and the other way is to network within the industry to find areas of common interest where parties can both benefit to create opportunities for us and for others."
While the first lunch is sold out, there are still tickets remaining for the Feb. 8 and Mar. 26 events. Tickets are $59 and include your choice of appetizer, main course and dessert.
Visit www.whistlerblackcomb.com/the-village/dining/steeps-grill-and-wine-bar/hawksworth-lunch for more information.